Building on Efficiency

Two administration-led, industry-driven efforts marked milestones today. The first will put Americans to work on more than $2 billion in energy upgrades for federal buildings. The second will offer 30 million households and businesses more control over their energy bills. And together, these efforts will support an economy that’s built to last, one that makes use of every source of American energy – more efficiently.

Better Buildings

In December, as part of his We Can’t Wait initiative, the President challenged federal agencies to make at least $2 billion worth of energy-efficiency upgrades over the next two years. Meeting the first of several milestones of the challenge, federal agencies have identified $2.1 billion of projects that will pay for themselves using performance-based contracts.

Of the $2.1 billion in energy upgrade projects identified by agencies, more than $100 million in Energy Savings Performance Contracts (ESPCs) and Utility Energy Savings Contracts (UESCs) have been awarded already, and an additional $1.2 billion in projects are in development – demonstrating strong momentum towards meeting the President’s goal.

 

Agency

Agency-Reported Performance Contracting Target (ESPC + UESC)     

Agriculture

$5,000,000

Commerce

$5,000,000

Defense

$1,180,000,000

Homeland Security

$48,000,000

Energy

$100,000,000

Environmental Protection Agency

$9,000,000

General Services Administration

$175,000,000

Health and Human Services

$35,200,000

Interior

$5,000,000

Justice

$192,000,000

Labor

$3,000,000

National Archives and Records Administration

$5,000,000

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

$19,600,000

Office of Personnel Management

$1,000,000

Smithsonian

$9,600,000

Social Security Administration

$8,100,000

State

$4,900,000

Transportation

$36,000,000

Treasury

$9,500,000

Tennessee Valley Authority

$17,000,000

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

$2,500,000

United States Postal Service

$28,000,000

Veterans Affairs

$160,000,000

Other

$6,000,000

Total

$2,064,400,000

 

These federal agencies join leading corporations, colleges and universities, hospitals, cities, and states that together have committed nearly $2 billion in private capital investments, and more than 1.6 billion square feet of building and industrial space to upgrade energy performance by at least 20 percent by 2020 through the Better Buildings Challenge.

Green Button

To unlock billions more in opportunities to save energy, we need to help households and businesses understand how they use energy. That is why the administration partnered with the utility industry to make it easier for electricity customers to get secure online access to their own energy data in a consumer- and computer-friendly format, called “Green Button.”   

Today, six new utilities and electricity suppliers committed to provide over 3 million households and businesses unprecedented access to their own energy use data with a simple click of an online “Green Button.” These new commitments bring the total number of U.S. households and businesses with access to their energy data to 30 million. 

That means 30 million households and businesses that can use web and smartphone apps to pick the best rate plan for them; take advantage of customized energy efficiency tips; utilize easy-to-use tools to size and finance rooftop solar panels; and download virtual energy audit software that can cut costs for building owners and help get retrofits started sooner.  

All-of-the-Above

Energy efficiency is one of the fastest, easiest, and cheapest ways to create jobs, save money, and cut down on harmful pollution. And that is why we continue to look for new ways to build on the progress of and the excitement around efforts like Better Buildings and Green Button. In this pursuit, we take an all-in approach. Whether it’s the historic fuel economy standards that will nearly double the miles you can go on a gallon, or investments that have led to more than a million homes weatherized across the country – we keep building on efficiency, and we keep betting on American workers and American know-how to help create a secure energy future.

Heather Zichal is Deputy Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change
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